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BAE Systems Maritime Australia to trial 3 innovative technologies

BAE Systems Maritime Australia will trial innovative technologies and methods from three South Australian businesses in order to make the naval shipyard a safer working environment for its employees.

Australian businesses were engaged via the Industry Capability Network (ICN) to propose innovative digital safety technologies and applications focusing on 3 elements: manual handling, extraction and ventilation, and wearables for safety. The down-selection was made following a competitive evaluation process.

“Our work at Tonsley, in collaboration with Flinders University and an increasing number of innovative Australian businesses, is a real game changer for shipbuilding,” says Craig Lockhart, Managing Director of BAE Systems Maritime Australia.

“The pilot Line Zero, Factory of the Future facility is both a training factory and an R&D sandpit where we are solving real-world shipyard problems in a safe, controlled and intelligent environment. At the peak of the Hunter program in the late 2020s, 2,200 employees will be based at Osborne, and we are absolutely committed to ensuring this busy shipyard will be as safe for our workers as possible, so I am looking forward to understanding the outcomes of the trials undertaken by three South Australian businesses, Cohda Wireless, Electrocad and MyModular.”

Cohda Wireless will trial an innovative, proximity threat detection platform between shipyard personnel and moving plant equipment and vehicles. This trial is designed to protect employees from collision injury.

MyModular was selected under the ventilations and extraction element to demonstrate a very low voltage lighting solution designed to be used during construction within ship compartments that incorporates sensors to alert employees if air quality is compromised or temperatures are rising too high.

Electrocad was chosen to demonstrate an integrated wearable body sensor solution that provide real time feedback to the user to reduce manual handling injuries within ship compartments, including handling loads, awkward positions and repetition of activities.

The three businesses are taking part in Phase 1 of the Digital Safety Innovation Challenge to test and demonstrate their innovations and technologies in collaboration with BAE Systems Maritime Australia at the pilot Line Zero, Factory of the Future facility, located within the Tonsley Innovation District.

Demonstrations are expected to begin later this year.

Ultimately it’s anticipated these solutions will continue into future development and testing phases to deliver a mature solution that can be applied in the Osborne Naval Shipyard to support construction of the Navy nine new Hunter Class Frigates.

This is the second Innovation Challenge held by BAE Systems Maritime Australia. In December 2020, four companies – Datanet, Lamson Concepts, Cohda Wireless and Dematec Automation – won the inaugural challenge focussing on logistics ‘track and trace’ technologies. This challenge is in its final stages, also at Tonsley.

 Already around 1,000 employees are working at Osborne, and this number will grow to 2,200 at the peak of the program in the late 2020s.

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